Rosen paints a vivid and ravishing picture of the Gilded Age, bringing to life some of the people and parties that rocked this particular era, in an altogether believable tale. Recommended for fans of Rosen’s other works and readers who enjoy historical fiction and authors such as Kristin Hannah and Elizabeth Gilbert.
... witty and beautifully imagined ... Rosen digs deep to reveal the humanity of these socialites as they cope with death, betrayal, and the ultimate shame: divorce. Just as the imagery of sumptuous feasts, brilliant jewels and gowns, and magnificent palatial estates begins to pall, the increasingly decadent pageantry spurs a moral awakening when Alva’s sisters expose her to the struggles of average women and workers, and Caroline comes to appreciate her family and her devoted butler. The two doyennes, who despite their riches and status have few legal rights, summon the inner strength to defy stuffy convention, find happiness in love at last, and make significant societal contributions, such as funding the building of the original Metropolitan Opera and backing women’s suffrage. Rosen delights with breezy dialogue and keen insights into the era. Historical fans will love this.